Prof. Gabi Barbash
Prof. Gabi BarbashChannel 12 News

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will once again offer the position of coronavirus project manager to Prof. Gabi Barbash, who refused to take the post the last time he was asked to do so, Channel 12 News reported on Wednesday.

Barbash, who was Netanyahu's preferred candidate for the coronavirus project, announced in July that he was relinquishing the appointment after not being given the necessary powers to manage the crisis.

Meanwhile, a heated confrontation broke out on Wednesday evening between Netanyahu and Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz over the Prime Minister's intention to tighten the lockdown.

Gantz protested the request to tighten the lockdown and told the Prime Minister, "we are driving the public crazy." Netanyahu shouted at him, "You will not tell me what is crazy or not crazy."

According to a report by Kan News, Netanyahu said, "We are in a situation where our current lockdown is less effective than March-April. We have a problem. We need to tighten the lockdown now."

Gantz replied that the main problem is in public trust and not in the strength of restrictions. "I suggest as we agreed that all the teams sit down and make a proposal. Our problem is in persuasion and not in tightening. Whoever is not listening now, it will not help if we tighten restrictions."

Netanyahu replied, "There will be a team and I will ask for two alternatives. If the lockdown is ineffective, then we will not be able to talk about an exit strategy." Minister Yuval Steinitz added that in his opinion, leaving the house should be limited to a maximum of 200 meters, as opposed to the current 1,000-meter limit.

When Gantz replied that this would drive the public crazy, Netanyahu was furious. "You will not tell me what is crazy or not crazy. It is permissible to see the data and change the approach. If the lockdown does not work it does not work," he lashed out.

The Defense Minister replied, "You have to ask why it is not working. It has nothing to do with going to a distance of 500 or 100 meters."